PHOTOS: Dead:Stop, Next to None, and Another Day Dawns at The Originals Music Series (with special guest Mike Portnoy)

Some nights on the music scene make us realize why we do what we do.

OK, to be fair, we’ve had quite a few of those lately. However, tonight reinforced for us that there’s much to look forward to around our Valley, year-round, and that any night can be amazing.

Let’s start with Dead:Stop. The heavy rock/hardcore band started the evening with a dash of punk edge and infectious energy that got the folks in attendance — many of them among our music scene’s younger demographic — up and moving.

After that came Next to None, another young, but wickedly talented band whose progressive metal flair is perhaps only rivaled by its stage presence. Their genre, of course, is not a surprise — the band’s backline includes Max Portnoy on drums, whose father, Mike, is the former drummer for Dream Theater.

Speaking of Mike Portnoy, he was in the house, and would join in on a special treat after his son’s band finished its official set. Portnoy, as well as members of Next to None and local hard rock band Another Day Dawns (who we’ve recently seem somewhere… can’t put our finger on it, though…) participated in an open jam. Musicians rotated in and out for about 45 minutes, playing a jukebox worth of hard rock and metal hits and ending with a full company version of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

Through it all, the packed house and sense of enthusiasm at Chicago Restaurant’s Club Gravity also provided good vibes. With so much youth in the room and onstage, it was easy to dispel the notion that the younger generation doesn’t “get it.” Not only do they get it — but they are just as good at making music as folks twice their age.

The future is bright for our Valley’s music scene, and for every artist who took the stage on Thursday night.

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